Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution

Conflicts exist in all countries and at every level of society. Conflict in itself is not necessarily negative, but rather an expression of differences of interest and usually involves the struggle for justice, equal treatment and development. However, when a conflict is not handled by peaceful means, when it escalates and people resort to violence, the negative impacts can be enormous.

A common and often overlooked reason for escalation and violence is the lack of mechanisms and institutions to address conflicts in a constructive manner. Conflict preventive and resolutive work is undertaken in order to avoid the occurrence of violence and its escalation and recurrence.

Dialogue and mediation are important tools in such work. A dialogue process is an open-ended discussion that entails listening, understanding, and the sharing of perspectives. A mediation process is more formalized, with a mediator providing a framework for negotiations aimed at reaching a concrete settlement, such as a peace agreement. Mediation processes are often instituted when a conflict has escalated and positions are more entrenched than previously.

Reconciliation is an important tool to prevent the recurrence of violence in a society emerging from conflict. Half of all violent conflicts re-emerge five years after the signing of a peace agreement. As such, a course of reconciliation is vital in a post-conflict society and must encompass the majority of the society’s members - whether perpetrators or victims, active or passive, in the underlying struggle.

Reconciliation can involve various approaches and activities. However, official reconciliation processes tend to include scrutiny of the past to establish the truth of what happened during the conflict, the consideration of elements of justice to redress victims, compensation in the form of reparations or memorials and national mourning days, and apologies at official or personal level.

In international peace missions in conflict areas, civilian observers play an increasingly important role. The observers’ mandate differ, but their role is often to monitor and follow up on human rights violations or to oversee the implementation of peace or armistice agreements. Their work is important and helps the international community to understand and resolve ongoing conflicts.

What does the FBA do?


The OSCE draws attention to violence against women in Ukraine

Violence towards women is widespread in Ukraine. Every year, gender-based violence is estimated to cause three times as many deaths as the armed conflict going on in the eastern part of the country since 2014. It is crucial for the OSCE to have a gender perspective in its operations.

2018-03-07 10:55

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Una perspectiva de género en la construcción de la paz

This training manual has been developed to provide an introduction in Spanish to the policy framework on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and its follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security.

Gabriela Elroy



  • Posted by Robert Hall

    Russian presidential elections: observing democratic process in the world’s largest country

    Few people think about the vast expanse of the Russian Federation. Canada, the world’s second largest country, is not even half the size of the Russian Federation. Just imagine the logistics of running a country with an 11 hour difference between provinces like Kaliningrad and Kamchatka. Imagine monitoring the quality of the democratic process across such an enormous area with just 500 observers. Imagine that the country, like Sweden, is located in the cold wintry North ... Read entire post »

    2018-03-13 11:11
  • Posted by Carl Fredrik Birkoff

    The role of women in violent extremism in Kenya

    As I wrote in a previous article at the FBA blog, the impact and cost of insecurity resulting from violent extremism is enormous and is a risk to Kenya’s development agenda. The radicalisation and violent extremist phenomena are disproportionately impacting youth and women from marginalised areas. There is growing global recognition that women play multiple roles both within violent extremist organisations and in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). In a recent study of 15 countries, ... Read entire post »

    2018-02-28 10:30
  • Posted by Lotta Ekvall

    OSCE – the unknown security organization

    What is the OSCE? That is one of the most frequent questions I am asked when I tell people that I am on secondment from the FBA to the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, Austria, where I work as Gender Adviser.

    OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, was established in 1973. Today the OSCE has 57 member states, in Europe but also in North America and North and Central Asia. The organization addresses a wide ... Read entire post »

    2018-02-21 10:06

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on women, peace and security, Mali and the Middle East

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